NFL Nation: Kenny King

The National Football Post reports that talks between the Kansas City Chiefs and tackle Eric Fisher should start heating up in the next week. It is fully expected Fisher will be signed before the team reports to training camp July 25.

Also, The National Football Post reports the Denver Broncos are talking to tackle Ryan Clady about a new deal, but the sides are not close. I expect the talks to take a while, but eventually an extension should be struck. The Broncos gave Clady the franchise tag. Clady has said he expects to report to training camp.

Former Oakland Raiders running back Kenny King’s Super Bowl XVII ring is up for auction.

Peyton Manning and the Broncos are a hot ticket in 2013.
NFC West teams have drafted 22 defensive ends since 2002, a number smaller than I would have anticipated.

An even smaller number -- two! -- start for the teams that drafted them.

One, Antonio Smith, starts for another team.

A few notes relating to this latest item in a series examining various positions:
  • Kentwan Balmer appears as a defensive end because the San Francisco 49ers drafted him to play that position. Balmer played defensive tackle in college.
  • Darnell Dockett does not appear as a defensive end because the Arizona Cardinals drafted him to play defensive tackle. Yes, Dockett plays defensive end in the Cardinals' current scheme, but the NFL lists him as a tackle for Pro Bowl voting and he is not a typical defensive end even by 3-4 standards.
  • Of the 22, only Chris Long and Calais Campbell are starting for their original teams. Smith is starting for the Houston Texans.
  • Six of the eight most highly drafted ends since 2002 came from teams most recently affiliated with the ACC.
  • Long was the only player on the list drafted before the 28th overall choice.
  • Will Davis and Parys Haralson were listed as defensive ends coming out of college, but both projected as outside linebackers. That is why they do not appear below. Cody Brown also projects at linebacker.
  • I've used the term "not active" loosely in the charts to describe players who weren't on active rosters during the regular season recently.

Now, on to the charts. I've broken them up with italicized comments representing what NFL teams might have been thinking at corresponding stages of these drafts.

Playing it safe and hoping those NFL bloodlines pay off ...


Defensive linemen are at a premium, and we might find out why ...


The pure pass-rushers are gone by now ...


If these guys don't pan out, it'll be a while before we take another third-round end ...


It's an upset if we find a starter at this point ...


Time to fill out the practice squad, but you never know ...

Panthers' RBs form trivia answer

January, 3, 2010
1/03/10
7:13
PM ET
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- I happened to run into Carolina Panthers personnel executive Mark Koncz in the press box late in Sunday’s game.

Koncz had a very good question.

“Hey, has a running back ever not led his team in rushing yardage and gone to the Pro Bowl?’’ Koncz asked.

It fits because that’s the situation the Panthers are in. Starting running back DeAngelo Williams is going to the Pro Bowl. But backup Jonathan Stewart, partly because of injuries, finished the season with more rushing yards. Stewart isn’t going to the Pro Bowl. Stewart finished with 1,133 yards and Williams with 1,117. They are the first pair of teammates to rush for 1,100 yards in the same season.

I didn’t know the answer to Koncz’s question, but I’ve got the resources to get it. I called our research people and they consulted with the Elias Sports Bureau and came up with the answer.

It has been done before, but there are some qualifiers involved. Since 1975, it’s happened a handful of times and the most recent involves a guy who really wasn’t a running back.

Tampa Bay’s Mike Alstott, who wasn’t truly a fullback either, made the Pro Bowl in 2002, 2000 and 1998. Alstott made it as a fullback and Warrick Dunn led the Bucs in rushing in 1998 and 2000 and joined Alstott in the Pro Bowl in 2000. In 2002, Michael Pittman led the Bucs in rushing.

The other instances came in 1993 when Pittsburgh’s Barry Foster was selected over Leroy Thompson, in 1988 when James Brooks made it over Ickey Woods for the Bengals and in 1980 when Kenny King went over Mark Van Eeghen for Oakland.

You can also throw in St. Louis in 1975 -- sort of. Terry Metcalf first was selected to the Pro Bowl and Jim Otis was not. But Otis later was added to the Pro Bowl roster.

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